– Journey to Excellence


The Bake before Christmas

Twas a week (more or less) before Christmas and panic set in

Momma knew that the baking prep had to begin

There was butter to buy, nuts and chocolate in bulk

and to bring it inside she would need that great hulk

So Pops would play chauffeur, cart pusher and bank

and Momma would lead him, sometimes with a yank

The aisles would be crowded with people in need

and yet most were friendly, like brothers indeed

When supplies are unloaded but not put away

Momma takes just a moment, to breathe or to pray

and then with her measuring cups and her spoons

she’s off like a whirlwind, a flour storm looms

Bowls and pans cover countertops littered with crumbs

and hands mix the cookie dough until they are numb

The dog patrols restlessly his circular path

ensuring the floors clean and stoking moms wrath

The heat from the oven and the cold wind that blows

make the windows look icy, like old Frostie’s nose

and Pops in pajamas, hot cocoa in hand

Just watching and smiling, like he has a plan

And time somehow stops while rushing ahead

and it’s the wee hours, well past time for bed

but Mommas still cooling and packing in tins

loving treats for her family, neighbors and friends

Poppas plan is completed, every batch tested well

his milk glass is empty and Momma can tell

She told him to stop, but he does what he can

and he tasted a cookie from every hot pan

The children all grown up with lives of their own

But this time of the year they may all visit home

So they rest on the sofa, mom tired, dad stuffed

and they gaze at the tree, both of them feeling chuffed.

It soon will be Christmas and our savior above

fills the hearts of all those who believe in His love

Though our faith must be tested and trials overcome

If our love is unbroken, we’ve already won

Of Christmas & Trees


I LOVE this time of the year. Starting with Halloween I begin to experience the sense of celebration. Yeah, it starts with candy and little kids dressed up to the bounds of their imaginations, or their parents purse, and actually going out in the world, knocking on doors, and meeting, however briefly, other real life people. God help us all when Facebook takes that over too and we need never actually see, or be seen, by others. People decorate! Well, some do. It may be as simple as just leaving a pumpkin on the front steps, but still, it’s something right?

Then quickly comes Thanksgiving and hopefully we begin to turn our thoughts from the ‘me me me’ focus of Halloween candy to a more pronounced contemplation of the joys and blessings in our lives. Family bonds pull us nearer and we generally hide the deep seated need we have for one another by focusing it on food, since it’s not really polite to talk with your mouth full. But we all know. We all realize at this time of year more than usual, how much we care for, need, and appreciate family.

Then, the magic really begins as we head toward Christmas. The big one. Now many will say it is based on commercialism and an old pagan holiday. Maybe. There’s no doubt a focus on buying things, and the time of year really doesn’t make sense for the birth of Jesus Christ. But none of that matters. Give unto Caesar what is his. For those who are blessed to know Christ, we know what the season represents and what it is we celebrate. It is that spirit that gives hope and makes even the non-believers seem a little friendlier at this time of year.

Anyway, this isn’t a lecture. I wanted to say to all who may read this that I hope you have a most awesome Christmas! Mama Crossley has been in good spirits this year and done a bit of decorating.